AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Nov. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Employees at Chrysler Group's Belvidere Assembly Plant had a special escort today on their way to the Belvidere/Boone County Food Pantry.
Leading their procession of Chrysler Group vehicles laden with food for Thanksgiving Day dinners was the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart compact car. But this Belvidere-built Dart looked remarkably like a police car, complete with overhead light bar and Belvidere Police Department graphics on the sides.
The police department already patrols the community in a Dodge Charger Pursuit, America's high-performance police vehicle, but Chrysler Group does not offer a Dodge Dart police car. So Belvidere Police Chief Jan Noble approached Chrysler Group with an idea – provide the Belvidere Police Department with a police vehicle made in the Belvidere Assembly Plant.
"The Belvidere Police Department wanted to drive what's built in their town by their own citizens," said Peter Grady, Vice President of Network Development & Fleet, Chrysler Group LLC. "This was a terrific opportunity to support the Belvidere police and continue to foster our longtime partnership with this city and region."
The result is a unique built-in-Belvidere Dodge Dart police vehicle that the city will use for non-patrol tasks and ceremonial purposes. Grady notes that 20 percent of law enforcement fleet vehicles typically are non-patrol vehicles used by detectives, police administrators, and other police department personnel.
The Belvidere Police Department will provide Chrysler Group with feedback on the uses for this test vehicle. The Company will use that feedback to determine whether a non-patrol Dodge Dart police vehicle could be marketed to other law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
In its first ceremonial function, the Dart was used today to escort the food drive procession from the Belvidere Assembly Plant to the local county pantry in Capron, Ill.
With Thanksgiving approaching, Chrysler Group employees across the Midwest have been taking time out from building cars and trucks to make sure their neighbors have the means to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner. Today, everything from canned fruit and vegetables to cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie filling and stuffing mix was packed up and loaded into Chrysler Group vehicles for delivery to the food pantry.
The annual Chrysler Group Thanksgiving Food Drive taking place today in partnership with the UAW, is part of the Company's long-standing tradition of giving back to its local communities and will help local food pantries restock their shelves in time for Thanksgiving. To complete the menu, The Chrysler Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Chrysler Group, has purchased more than 1,500 frozen turkeys, which will also be distributed by the food pantries.
SOURCE Chrysler Group LLC